Metro Housing Boston
Metro Housing Boston (Metro Housing) provides innovative and personalized services that help individuals and families achieve housing stability, economic self-sufficiency, and an improved quality of life. Partnered with Boston Medical Center (BMC), Metro Housing established the Housing to Health program, which targets low- and moderate-income families with children, and administers emergency funds via the state’s Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program. BMC screens primary care patients to identify those with housing instability through indicators like rent and utility arrearages, eviction notices, frequent moves, and living in overcrowded conditions. The team will focus their planning year on developing a data management solution that bridges the various systems, and allows partners access to comprehensive information on all services that a patient receives. Health Leads will ensure that BMC patients are able to identify, access, and choose the resources they need to be healthy by leveraging referrals and connections to social services, particularly housing, through its REACH database. Medical Legal Partnership-Boston will provide legal consultation on issues of patient privacy and access to data.
Project Bread is a statewide food security organization dedicated to combating hunger and promoting positive health outcomes through access, advocacy, engagement, and education. This initiative will focus on low-income residents in Worcester County, particularly of Southbridge and Webster, and coordinate services for patients of Family Health Center of Worcester (FHCW). In partnership with the Regional Environmental Council, Health Leads, and the UMass Extension Nutrition Education Program, medical providers at the health center will refer food-insecure clients to an Enrollment Coordinator. This position will pre-screen families for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, administer enrollment assistance, provide case management, and assist with the re-certification process. The Coordinator also ensures clients are aware of supplemental food and nutrition resources such as the Healthy Incentive Program; food pantries; the Women, Infants, and Children program; school meals; etc. The project will address how the social service partners of this team can collect data on food access to share with FHCW, implement a mobile market to offer more healthy produce, and strengthen its nutrition education activities.
The Community Builders
The Community Builders (TCB) is a nonprofit real estate developer and owner that develops housing for families and seniors, invests in local businesses and public amenities that strengthen neighborhoods, and constructs or preserves hundreds of affordable and mixed-income housing developments. This initiative will focus on TCB communities in Worcester which house 1,500 low-income residents across three housing development sites. In partnership with Family Health Center of Worcester, Central Mass Housing Alliance, the Worcester Police Department, and researchers at Boston College and Clark University’s Local Action Research Partnership, this team will implement a family-centered intervention to address housing stability and trauma as key social determinants of health.
Way Finders, Inc.
Way Finders, Inc. is a community development organization and the largest nonprofit housing provider in Western Massachusetts. In partnership with Behavioral Health Network (BHN) and Mercy Medical Center (Mercy), the team will provide a consistent Family Care Coordinator who will anchor, coordinate and oversee the clients’ progress from the moment they enter shelter until one year past the attainment of secure, permanent housing. They will address barriers that lead to housing instability and poor health outcomes, connecting with BHN for behavioral health services and Mercy for medical care, all the while navigating social service systems and providing wraparound services like employment support, financial education, access to nutritious food, and afterschool programs. The planning phase of this initiative will develop a case management approach that could expand coordinated or joint services to all families in the shelter portfolio.